by Joanna Radov, CantonCharge.com contributor
Marques Bolden started his professional career with a strong showing and set himself up to be a top prospect going into the 2020-21 season.
Bolden represented the best of what the NBA G League has to offer for players trying to make it professionally. In his rookie season, the 6-10 center out of Duke led the team with 2.6 offensive rebounds a game while finishing second with 6.9 total rebounds. He was second on the team with 1.5 blocks a game, only behind Sir’Dominic Pointer.
“Marques is an ultimate example of player development by consistent work and improved play throughout the course of a season,” added Charge Head Coach Nate Reinking. “He became our defensive anchor especially down the stretch protecting the rim with almost two blocks a game. His high motor and mobility running the floor and dynamic rolls opened up our offense and gave us a real presence in the paint”
In 18.9 minutes of action, Bolden averaged 9.7 points. He led the team in rebounds during 11 different games, the most of any Charge player this season, while also leading the team in blocks on 17 occasions. His dominance in the paint was noticed in Cleveland as well when the Cavaliers signed him to a 10-day contract on January 30th.
“Marques might be our most improved player,” commented Charge GM Brendon Yu. “From where he was at Duke, to summer league and training camp, to where he finished up he really got a lot better. He did a great job working on his body and improving his athleticism and conditioning. His motor improved as well, but I thought most importantly his confidence grew. He’s big, skilled, athletic, and can block a shot. He’s everything you want in a modern big.”
In a lineup that was filled with stretch players like Dean Wade, Matt Mooney, and Sir’Dominic Pointer, having a consistent presence in the middle was crucial for Canton. Bolden notched a season-high for the team with seven offensive rebounds at Erie on March 7th and tallied a season-high five blocks on two separate occasions, the most recent being February 19th against the Northern Arizona Suns.
“Considering the game has extended away from the basket, Marques has shown there is still room for the big man in the game of basketball,” said Charge play-by-play guru Scott Zurilla. “An excellent shooter in the paint with old school footwork and the ability to use both hands, he could always be counted on when on the block. A terrific passer and shot blocker as well.”